Paulding County

Funeral plans announced for 11-year-old killed at Paulding County home

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — The family of a Paulding County 11-year-old who was shot and killed inside his home on April 29 announced plans for his funeral Friday morning.

According to the family, Zander Whatley of Douglasville was shot and killed when a shooter or shooters opened fire on his home in Paulding County.

The Hal Hutchens Elementary School fifth grader was described as a proud member of the Student Council, as well as an athlete.

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The family said Whatley played soccer, baseball and football.

In addition to his sports activities, Whatley “loved the Lord, singing, TikTok, school, his family and his friends.”


A balloon release will be held Friday in Whatley’s honor at Rockmart High School on Cartersville Highway at 6 p.m. There will be a public viewing before the balloon release from noon to 6 p.m., according to the family.

A celebration of life and funeral service for Whatley will be held Saturday, on what would have been his 12th birthday.

A second public viewing will be held at 1 p.m. at the Rockmart High School Gymnasium, followed by a 2 p.m. service at the high school.

Whatley’s family asks that anyone with information about his death helps law enforcement catch those responsible by contacting the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-443-3047.

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